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Claims Sir Bradley Wiggins' Hour bike illegal & he got favourable treatment rejected

UCI says bike and equipment complied with rules, GB coach says Alex Dowsett would have got help if he'd asked

The support team behind Sir Bradley Wiggins’ successful UCI Hour record attempt on Sunday have rejected allegations the bike he used did not comply with the rules and that British Cycling gave him favourable treatment through the support they gave him.

Wiggins rode 54.426km to break the previous record of 52.937km, which the Movistar rider had set in Manchester at the start of last month.

But as we reported yesterday, Steve Collins, a member of Dowsett’s support team, claimed Wiggins’ Pinarello Bolide HR bike did not satisfy UCI regulations because it “wasn’t in production.”

He alleged that, contrary to UCI rules which require frames and components to be available for anyone to buy, “You can’t get 3D-printed handlebars moulded to your own arms to make it easier for your own attempt.”

Speaking on BBC Radio Essex, Collins also said that Wiggins had received preferential treatment from British Cycling.

But the UCI has confirmed that the bike and other kit used by Wiggins on Sunday were in line with its rules, a point also made by his own support team.

The UCI said in a statement: “Bradley Wiggins’ bike and equipment were thoroughly assessed by UCI officials before and after the UCI Hour Record attempt and were judged to be fully compliant with UCI regulations.”

The Bolide HR was added to the UCI’s list of approved frames and forks on 21 May 2015, with the full list published on the governing body’s website.

As for those 3D printed handlebars, Pinarello’s white paper for the Bolide HR, which we reported on here, makes clear that “this method will now be used to provide a similar service to Pinarello customers via the MOST parts brand.”

British Cycling endurance coach Heiko Salzwedel, quoted in the Guardian, denied that the national governing body had given Wiggins favourable treatment, adding that it would have given similar support to Dowsett had he asked for it.

“I’m a GB coach responsible for anyone with a British passport and anyone who asks me will get my support,” he said.

“Brad isn’t involved with Team Sky any more, he doesn’t have the resources of a team like Dowsett’s Movistar and in his eyes this was a performance that helped him build to the Olympic Games [in Rio next year] so it was natural to help him.

“I didn’t reduce the time I spent with the team pursuit squad because they were training together; sometimes I spent more time with Brad but that would have been the same if it was Ed Clancy doing a record.

“If Alex had asked me I’d have helped him, but he didn’t. He asked for his training times at Manchester and got them free of charge,” he added.

Dowsett himself has said that he "never asked for any help" from tBritish Cycling since his Movistar team gave him "more than enough" support for his record attempt.

Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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